Benefits of Solar Energy
Solar energy provides numerous advantages that will enhance your home for years to come.
- Smaller power bills: Generating some or all of your own power will cut power costs long-term.
- Reduced carbon footprint: Solar is a highly abundant clean energy source, meaning you can reduce or eliminate your home's dependence on fossil fuels.
- Better energy independence: Solar systems with battery storage operate through blackouts and emergencies, and you won't have to rely on the power grid for your safety and well-being.
What Solar Incentives Are Available to San Diego Homeowners?
Governments and power companies often reward homeowners for embracing solar. Here are some of the tax credits, rebates, or other programs you could qualify for.
Incentive Type: Property Tax IncentiveWebsite: boe.ca.gov
100% of system value; 75% of system value exemption for dual-use equipment
Incentive Type: PACE FinancingWebsite: wrcog.us
Eligible products can be financed for up to 25 years, depending on the useful life of the eligible product.
Minimum financing: $5,000
The financing may not exceed fifteen percent (15%) of the market value of the property, up to the first seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) of the property’s market value, and ten percent (10%) of the remaining value of the Property above seven hundred thousand dollars ($700,000) minus any PACE assessment on the property The total amount of any annual property taxes and assessments shall not exceed five percent (5%) of the property's fair market value, determined at the time program financing is approved.
Incentive Type: PACE Financing
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: selfgenca.com
For projects 30 kW or larger, 50% of incentive will be received up-front; 50% will be received based on actual kWh production over the first 5 years. For projects under 30kW, 100% of the incentive will be paid up front.
Incentives will step down over time. See below for incentive amounts.
Incentive Type: Feed-in TariffWebsite: ladwp.com
$0.17/kWh adjusted by a time of delivery multiplier
Base price will step down over time as certain MW goals are met
Incentive Type: Rebate ProgramWebsite: gosolarcalifornia.ca.gov
Step 1 Incentive Rates (contact utility to determine current incentive levels):
Single Family Residential Incentives:
Systems that displace natural gas: $29.85 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: Funding has been exhausted
Systems that displace natural gas: $20.19 per estimated therm displaced
Systems that displace electricity or propane: $0.42 per estimated kWh displaced *** Note, funding has been exhausted in this category for SCE and PG&E
Solar Pool heating: $5.00 per estimated therm displaced
Incentive Type: Green Building IncentiveWebsite: sandiegocounty.gov
7.5% reduction in plan check and building permit fees
Incentive Type: Personal Tax CreditWebsite: ecowatch.com
30% federal tax credit for systems placed in service after 12/31/2021 and before 01/01/2033. Good for: solar water heat, solar photovoltaics, biomass, geothermal heat pumps, wind (small), fuel cells using renewable fuels.
How To Choose the Best Solar Company in San Diego
The more informed your company research is, the better your solar system will ultimately work. Make your choice based on the following essential elements.
Licensing and Training
California requires solar companies to hold licenses for each type of equipment they install, which can include solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, water heaters, boilers, HVAC, and pool heaters. Contractors must complete a highly comprehensive educational series, gain four years of field experience, and pass written exams to earn licensure. Check a company's website for private accreditations from the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners (NABCEP), among the solar industry's most trusted trade groups. Its program includes certifications for both solar photovoltaic and water heating installers.
Cost of Solar Panels in San Diego
Your solar modules' model will affect how much power you can generate. Monocrystalline panels perform the best but cost the most. Polycrystalline panels offer you a budget panel with a traditional design, but at the cost of less power generation. Thin-film panels have a low cost and are excellent for non-traditional roofs, but aren't recommended for large home installations.
You can also add electric car (EV) chargers and battery backup systems. These will increase your total project price, but they can increase your solar system's efficiency. Not every solar company offers these add-ons, so look for a contractor that installs them if it's crucial for you.
A majority of San Diego homeowners select solar systems sized for five kilowatts (kW) of electrical capacity. These systems run about $17,350 to set up, considering both parts and installation. You can see more specific cost information in the table.
|Solar Panel Cost
|Solar Home EV Charger
Financing Solar Energy in San Diego
Solar installers use multiple different financing options to lower your costs and increase your savings. Though some providers offer unique payment plans, the most common are solar loans, cash payments, solar leases and power purchase agreements (PPAs). Though it requires a large up-front payment, cash is the most affordable choice because it qualifies you for solar incentives and doesn't accrue interest. Solar loans are the second most effective option. As with a car or home loan, you'll pay a monthly rate towards system ownership, including interest. You can still apply for valuable solar incentives, and depending on your lender, you could put as little as $0 down. Solar leases allow you to use your panels for a set monthly rate, while PPAs let you pay just for the energy you use, similar to an electric bill. Both options disqualify you for solar incentives and don't grant you system ownership. Solar experts generally don't recommend them, but they might be suitable in some cases. We recommend working with a provider that offers multiple financing options. Talk to each representative about what's available, and obtain more than one estimate for the best odds of staying within your spending limits.
The table below lists the average payback periods for different capacities of solar systems in San Diego.
The IRS allows you to claim a 26% federal tax credit on the full cost of the solar system, so long as you purchase it before 2032. City and state governments and utilities might also offer their own rebates, incentives, and financing programs that could save you more money.
|Solar System Capacity
|Estimated Payback period
Ready to Get a Quote on Your Solar Project?
Frequently Asked Questions About Solar in San Diego
How much energy and money could I save per year by switching to solar?
How popular is solar energy in San Diego?
Should I anticipate a boost in my property value after switching to solar energy?
What if I live in a dark or rainy
What can I do to predict my home's solar viability?
How long does the solar panel installation process take?
What's the difference between a PPA and a solar lease?
If you choose a lease, you'll make fixed monthly payments.
With both leases and PPAs, you do not own your panels and lose eligibility for most incentives. Further, you'll have to "buy out" or transfer the contract if you sell your home during the term.
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